A master planning firm selected to develop downtown Sandy Spring is aware of two significant factors facing the city - the challenges of motorists using Roswell Road, I-285 and Ga. 400; and that nearly 100 percent of people working in Sandy Springs commute from outside the city, according to City Manager John McDonough.
A presentation for City Council members, also indicated that Boston-based Goody Clancy recoginizes the need to build a culture of walking, biking and using transit.
On Tuesday, City Council members approved a downtown master planning contract up to $350,000, with Goody Clancy.
“I think they’ve demonstrated both in master planning and downtown development strategies that they have quite a wide background of conducting this type of work in other places across the country,” said McDonough to City Council members and Mayor Eva Galambos.
The firm, which beat out Miami-based Duany Plater-Zyberk, has completed master plans or downtown revitalization projects in several cities, such as Norfolk, Va., New Orleans, West Savannah, Chattanooga, and Greenville, S.C.
The firm has also won planning and urban design awards.
In a seemingly short period of time, a Sandy Springs evaluation team got to work reviewing 12 Request for Qualifications submitted from master planning to the city.
The four-member team included, Lee Duncan, chairman of the city Planning Commission; Nancy Leather, former community development director; Cecil McClendon, assistant city attorney and Kevin Walter, Public Works director.
Because the city did not receive qualified suggestions during the Request for Information process from business owners, the former Target site appears to remain the future City Hall and center of downtown redevelopment.
During an address to the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 27, the Mayor said, “We definitely want property owners involved…I think we are finally on a path of where we are going…I think we will see a downtown Sandy Springs that we can be proud of in the next three or four years.”
By the day of the Mayor’s address the evaluation team had begun to narrow its list of master planning candidates.
Goody Clancy’s master planning process will include public input sessions, McDonough said.
The entire project is expected to officially kick off on March 27, during a meeting with the Mayor and Council members at a City Council retreat.
A previous version of this story may have subliminally planted thoughts of baseball. Assistant city attorney Cecil McClendon was incorrectly referred to as Cecil Fielder.